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VCI Blu-ray (Tech-review)
on May 6, 2014
White Zombie doesn't sound or look like it was made yesterday, how could it? This Blu-ray isn't a spare-no-expense restoration of the camera neg of a major studio film. This is a carefully rendered, straight-forward reproduction of probably one the the only decent original 35mm print(s) in existence, of a poverty-row production. The print has shrunk, has some mottled areas in the shadows, and lines, but it also has a level of tonal range and detail I've never seen before. Some work has been done to stabilize the frame, but there is still some shifting. I suspect a lot of specs and reels-end damage has been cloned out, but there are still some light vertical lines, which can't be removed by using adjacent frames, but they have been toned-down. There are brief moments culled from lesser material, but total less than a minute or two.
The audio is clear and understandable without a hail-storm of pop and crackle, but there is still surface noise at times.
In short, Roan/VCI made what I feel were very sound judgement calls about what corrections would enhance appreciation of what they had to work with, without compromising it. Seeing WHITE ZOMBIE look this good is a real treat. This VCI Blu-ray easily bests the over-filtered misfire Kino gave us last year which attempted to morph the films appearance into something it never was.